When it’s pouring down rain or sleeting, it’s hard to have a face-to-face meeting with your garden. That’s the time to pull out the reserves keeping your brain engaged.
I’ve written previously about small garden vignettes placed near the door to entice you outdoors, especially if you have a chronic disease and experience fatigue or depression. Motivate yourself to go outdoors by placing great plantings just outside the door. These small dooryard gardens can be in a plot of earth or even in containers. Think of a big, bright yellow pot that is planted with deep purple pansies or a gorgeous cobalt pot with one of the new orange-leaved barberries. Talk about an intriguing shock of color!
Whether you are designing your Elderyard® on your own or you’re working with a landscape architect, take the next step beyond dooryard gardens when nature is putting on its own shades of gray.
Spend some time in each room of the house checking the views from the windows. How far can you see when you’re next to the window? What can you see if you’re sitting in a chair or on the sofa? What if you’re lying in bed?
Those are the views to plan for in order to capture the power of nature to help you age well.
Think about focal points for each view. Maybe a small flowering tree that is exquisitely pruned can provide both glorious spring blooms and wonder in winter in case you’re ever bedridden. And if you’ve remodeled the kitchen into a universal design, a combination of contrasting plant textures, such as a big arm-spreading blue-gray agave with spring green succulents at its foot can be aligned as a visual treat whether you are standing at the sink or sitting in a wheelchair.
I know, I know. It’s not uplifting to think of yourself aging, perhaps stuck in bed or needing to use a cane, walker or wheelchair to navigate. But remember the old Scout motto of being prepared? Planning for – and creating - ways to connect with nature and the special landscape around your house lets you enjoy the garden now and feel confident that you’re ready for the future.